Safer cables add value to buildings
If we rate a building for energy consumption, noise protection
and health - why not for safety?
Does safety improve the value of a building? Does a safer design of building improve the
value of a designers’ work?
Safety, as protection of human health, animal health and goods, may lead to a direct
economic saving as well as having a strong emotive impact. Fires are a real threat in
constructions, Safety in case of fire is one of the six essential requirements defined by the
European Parliament that designers have to comply with.
Fire - A global concern
Fires have a high cost in loss of human life. About a third of
fires originate inside buildings. In Europe the median fire death rate per 100,000 inhabitants(1) was near 1 in 2003 and 2004, equivalent to 30,000 deaths per year. The UK
Department for Communities and Local Government states that:
the most commonly identified cause of death from a fire incident
is being overcome
by gas or
which accounts for 44% of all deaths. Another influential
source, the Swedish SRSA (Swedish Rescue Services Agency) in a report on Fire Prevention states
that: "In 1950 the average time from ignition of a fire to flashover was 15 minutes. Then, 25 years
ago, that time was down to 5 minutes and now fatal conditions can occur after 3 minutes. This
change has come about because of the increase of plastics in our homes, nothing else."
Fires have also a significant impact on our economy. In a recent
report, CTIF (International Association of Fire and Rescue Service) estimates that:
the total economic costs of fires amount to around 1% of gross
domestic product in most advanced countries"
Fire safety is a component of building safety. It concerns
safety measures to prevent fires or limit their effects. The safety measures can aim to detect or
suppress fires (e.g. fire alarm systems, sprinklers) or contain and slow the spread of fires (e.g.
flame spread, heat release, flaming droplets, smoke and gas emission). Cables play an important
part in either measure. Their performance is defined
Resistance to Fire
Reaction to Fire
Prysmian's commitment to safety
Our Mission is to supply our Customers with the most
appropriate, innovative and technologically advanced cables for each application. Where safety is
concerned and a reliable and competitive solution is needed, Prysmian is able to fully support the
safer solution without being limited through technology or materials. Prysmian also wishes to
communicate with end-users, opinion leaders and electrical professionals about the great importance
of fire safety of cables for people and animals, and the importance of choosing safer cabling
when designing and constructing buildings.
The fire performance of cables is critical in fire safety engineering of many buildings but
many end-users lack such awareness. In the lack of national regulations, the decision to adopt
safer cables is primarily as a consequence of the correct information being provided to decision
The Prysmian Group has for many years been committed to designing and producing competitive
Fire Resistant and Low Fire-Hazard cables, and continues to widen its product range in order to
offer its customers safer cables to protect both lives and buildings. Prysmian's Fire Resistant and
Afumex (Low Fire-Hazard) cables have been adopted for many major projects throughout the world
including the Burj Dubai tower, the tallest man-made structure in the world and the new Formula 1
Grand Prix circuit in Singapore.
Prysmian’s social responsibility also extends to protection of the environment, with Afumex
cables representing an improvement from an eco-friendly point of view, due to reduced emissions of
smoke and harmful effluent under fire conditions. Furthermore Afumex cables, at the end of
their lives, can be disposed of through simpler, cheaper and cleaner treatments compared to